Ohtahara syndrome is a neurological disorder in which the patient experiences seizures. It affects newborns within the first three months of life and often within the first 10 days of being born. It first manifests in the form of epileptic seizures. Infants tend to usually have tonic seizures, though they may also experience partial seizures that are rarely turn to myoclonic seizures.
Ohtahara syndrome is most commonly caused by a structural damage in the brain or by metabolic disorders, though the cause/s may not be determined. Most infants suffering from this disorder tend to express a significant amount of underdevelopment of part or all of the cerebral hemispheres.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke conducts as well as supports extensive research program on the seizures and seizure-related disorders. A lot of the research on the subject is aimed at increasing scientific understand of the disorders and finding different ways to prevent, treat as well as cure them.
The EEGs of infants with Ohtahara syndrome reveal a characteristic pattern of high voltage spike wave discharge followed by little activity. This pattern is known as “burst suppression.” Doctors have observed that boys are more often affected than girls.
The course of Ohtahara syndrome is severely progressive. Seizures become more frequent, accompanied by physical and mental retardation. Some children will die in infancy; others will survive but be profoundly handicapped. As they grow, some children will progress into other epileptic disorders such as West syndrome and Lennox-Gestaut syndrome.
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